Product Manager Weekly Reading #7

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you and your team build great products!

1) Growth Hacking Trello Template

Rob Sobers, hacker/growth at Varonis, describes his process of creating, organizing, and running growth hacking experiments.

2) Product Hunt: Tools for Product Managers

Product Hunt started a new list of the best tools for product managers voted on by the general community.

3) Evaluating a PM Job Offer

Michelle Harper, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at McGraw-Hill Education describes several key points that you should consider when evaluating a product manager job offer.

4) Guide to Minimum Viable Products 

UXPin compiled an e-book with a collection of frameworks, case studies, and opinions describing the science and art behind building minimum viable products.

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Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

One of the most important aspects of delivering a solid product is making sure a lot of research goes into the effort. Given the limited time and money a project has, it’s essential to understand the aspects that should go into your product for the best possible end user experience. In this post, we’ll be going over quantitative vs. qualitative research, including their differences and when to employ each kind of research.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research includes A/B testing, fake door testing, and following patterns.

A/B testing tests changes on the page against the current design. For example, half of our customers would see a blue button while the other half would see our current grey button. If the blue button shows a higher click-through rate, we know that the change is an improvement.

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An Intro to the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

At my company I frequently hear the term “MVP” being used by PMs, developers, and designers alike. What exactly does this mean, and why is it so important for agile software development? MVP stands for minimum viable product and is a development technique in which a new product gets just enough core features for it to function.

The goal of the MVP is to quickly get feedback from customers and improve the product without having to invest a lot of time or money that could potentially go to waste. From the customer’s interaction with the MVP, the product can then go through cycles of improvement that result in a full-featured product that customers will love.

The term MVP is by no means boxed-in to just software development and writing code. Take a look at some famous examples of tech entrepreneurs using an MVP to validate and improve upon their early products:

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What is the Agile Methodology?

Earlier this week, we discussed the Waterfall methodology and today we’re going to go over another popular methodology in the industry called Agile. Agile is an extremely iterative approach to product development that rapidly delivers a product in phases called sprints. Sprints vary by company but usually last a few weeks and contain a set list of deliverables. These deliverables are prioritized by the team in a previous sprint and as work is finished in each sprint, it is reviewed and evaluated by the team and the customers so that the development team can quickly gain feedback on the product. On a day to day basis, teams get together for a daily standup run by a “scrum owner” where everyone describes what they are working on for the day or if they need any help with any roadblocks.

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Product Manager Weekly Reading #6

Every week, we curate some of the best product reads and post links to help you and your team build great products!

1) How We Built the New Wired.Co.UK Homepage

An in-depth breakdown of how a team of web designers, information architects and web developers at Wired UK worked together to iterate and develop an improved version of their homepage.

2) Airbnb: The Growth Story You Didn’t Know

Morgan Brown, Head of Growth at TrueVault, writes a comprehensive case study on the growth behind Airbnb.

3) Why Apple Doesn’t Do MVPs

Mark Kawano, Apple designer, discusses MVPs and how Apple launches products in a more mature phase.

4) How Twitter Onboards New Users

Useronboard presents a detailed case study on Twitter’s new signup flow.

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What is the Waterfall Methodology?

When starting new projects, companies face a decision of choosing which development methodology to use and one methodology that has historically been very popular is the Waterfall methodology. Development methodologies are simply a way to organize the workflow of product (usually software) development and there are pros and cons to each methodology. In this post, we’ll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of one specific methodology: Waterfall.

The Waterfall approach is a sequenced method of events that usually follow:

  1. Idea
  2. Analysis
  3. Design
  4. Development
  5. Test
  6. Final Product

A team will first come up with an idea which they will analyze in order to determine and prioritize business needs and requirements. Next, they focus on the design phase where the business needs are translated into technical requirements (i.e. decisions about which tech stack to use). Once all of these business / technical needs are finalized, the team can begin the code development. After development, the team begins code, systems, and user acceptance testing in order to fix any issues before they deliver the final product.

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